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I was so excited to get to photograph some friends of ours that are expecting. Talk about cuteness overload! I love when friends contact me for a photo session. It shows they really like me, and unlike perhaps your normal every day clients, they are honest- and I value hearing them. So below are just a few of the sweet shots we snapped at their home. I only wish I could increase the pixel size as some of them are just stunning in their larger format.

The shoot as a whole was alot of fun. K+O are super friendly, laid back, and a great looking couple. If baby Daniel gets half as much love and attention (and kisses!) that big Sis gives the dog, then he will be a lucky baby indeed. There was just so much love during this shoot, even when the smallest model had a break down (hey it’s hard work modelling infront of a big camera). I just can’t wait to meet and photograph the newest addition!

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I stumbled upon this great article over at Design Aglow and just had to share it with you. I have expressed it many times in the past, the importance of capturing those moments, those moments that will be looked upon for generations and that you fall in love with. You’ve heard me speak about your legacy and getting in front of the camera many times. And if you know me, you know that I am all about creating an experience that even dad feels is a good time. Which exactly why I ask you  “What do you picture? ” I’m not the type of photographer that wants to fit you to my mold and have every session look exactly alike. I want to mold my style to your tastes to create something truly special. And while I talk about these things, and I’m reworking my session packages this year, many wonder why it costs what it costs for these personal photography sessions. I hope this article helps you to understand why you should invest. We get one life. And we all know how quickly time flies.

I am off to do some editing and nurse my son who is having a sick day today. Here’s the article, enjoy!

The explosion of digital photography, online sharing, home printing, and social media over the last decade makes it easier than ever to capture those everyday (and special) moments. We are thrilled that the art of photography has become more accessible to the hobbyist. Often times our clients have top of the line gear, similar to ours, and are well versed in how to use it.  But even with all of the tools and resources so widely available, and the ability to capture the every day, nothing beats the work of an accomplished professional photographer to document your family, in its entirety.  Yes, we know you’ll be in some of the images at your cousin’s wedding… and  of course there are all your own family milestones… but the return on the investment of capturing who you are, today, is enormous.  There is so much to gain from a custom, professional photography session, one that is created specifically for you, solely for that purpose.

Yeah, I know… but really, why… why do I need to hire a professional to do that?

Some portion of the answer is intangible (and emotional).  Never have we heard from client “I wish I didn’t professionally photograph my family.” Rather, many times we have heard “I didn’t realize how important it was until after I saw the images.“ And occasionally we’ve even heard “I didn’t want to do it until I saw a friend’s images, then I realized I wanted the same for my family!

The remainder of the answer is related to quality and end result:

•    having a professional document what they see creates a story that is extremely different than one created by handing over your camera to your uncle or an aspiring photographer friend

•    being able to relax and unwind, and pose yourself naturally, with a bit of professional guidance is far superior to striking your one go-to pose with your “camera ready smile” and hoping it works

•    having an entire series of images, rather than just one good one, allows you to create wall galleries, or even albums, that pause and capture an exact point in time with your family

•    having an entire series of technically correct images, rather than ones that are too bright or too dark, unfocused or incorrectly lit, will enable you to proudly share and display the end result without needing to rely on those infamous disclaimers (“I know it’s not in focus, but I love it anyway!”)

That said, high quality professional photography can be expensive – and that is because custom art commands value. Unless you have a bit of disposable income, you need to consider it as an investment the same way you would consider any other purchase for your home. You certainly don’t want to have to do it over (and pay twice!), or get less than what you expected. You should select your photographer based on their style, area of expertise, quality, reputation, brand, and your expectations for an end result.

Here are some points that we think are worth extra consideration as you plan your session:

•    Experience: It is great to get a bargain with someone who is just building their portfolio. However for guaranteed results, you should be able to view an entire portfolio of images that demonstrate a consistency in style and output so that you can be confident in the end result you will receive. If you have doubts, ask to view a few complete sessions.

•    Style: Consider whether you are looking for a classic portrait, timeless black and whites, ethereal storybook art or a photojournalistic “day in the life.” Spend time reviewing multiple photographer’s online portfolios to really understand their style and find one that resonates with you. Make sure you select a style because the end result is what YOU desire, not just what’s trendy on Facebook this week! Will that style stand the test of time and in 10 years, and will it still make sense for you?

•    Product portfolio: Think about what you want to DO with your images. It’s best to have a goal, whether it be a specific family image for over your formal fireplace, canvases for a playroom wall, a classic framed display for a stairway wall or lovely coffee table keepsake albums. Once you select a photographer based on experience and style, make sure you review what products they offer, and have a conversation about your end goals to ensure they can deliver quality products that will meet your expectations. At the end of the experience, the art you purchase will be the final product and you need to love it.

•    Stance on “Getting the Disk”: Do not assume that getting it “all” from a digital package is the best route to go.  Deciding that you need everything in a digital format is a hasty decision to make if you haven’t even shot your session. Once you view your gallery, you may instantly decide which images you must have on your walls, and which in an album, and those that you want as digital files. Don’t rule out a photographer based on their willingness (or price point) to sell a session in a digital format… trust that they have experience in pulling together collections for clients that will meet their needs. You will want to enjoy your images everyday in your home…not left on a disk in a drawer.

•    Overall Relationship & Style of Communication: You have to be able to connect with your photographer. If you enjoy a hands-on style, that is casual, in touch and friendly, you are going to need to find one that also works in that style. If the “feel good” aspect isn’t as important, but the end result is, that’s another consideration. There are many wonderful clients and many wonderful photographers, but like picking the perfect spouse, nanny or even best friend, not everyone is a fit, but there is someone for everyone. If you have doubts, pick up the phone and chat about how you connect best, and talk about your overall style and goals.

Typical client feedback from those who have invested in quality custom photography: “A professional photographer has the patience and experience to capture amazing portraits. As a hobbyist shooter and their mom, my kids know most of my tricks, so getting them to cooperate is a challenge. Custom photography allows me leave the work and worry up to someone else, who I trust to capture images that will grace our walls for a lifetime.”

“I wanted two things… a healthy baby and newborn photos. What I got was a moment in time captured in the most beautiful photographs. Every time I look at them, I am reminded of those first few weeks with my son, when everything was new (and a little scary), and he smiled for the camera, before he even knew he could.  I never could have captured that on my own.”

“I have multiple single images of my family that I treasure. They are beautiful and meaningful to me, for so many reasons. They are on Facebook, and printed in 5X7 frames next to my bed.  But once a year I select a professional to photograph my family and from those sessions, I have full albums of images, each one technical perfection combined with artistry, and those are the ones that are displayed on my walls, are given as gifts to family members, and are showcased in beautiful albums.”

So do your research, find a pro who you click (no pun intended) with, and work together to create something that you and future generations will treasure forever.


Filled Under : Blog

Wow it’s been a while since Ive last updated on my blog. I’ve had the pleasure of some amazing shoots lately and I really hope I can get the time to share some of them. Here’s one from last week that I really enjoyed. Goodbye sessions as always, are bitter sweet. This family choose a wonderful sunny day to shoot but brrrr…..! It was cold! They walked the streets reminiscing of their time in Amsterdam. They are finally headed back to their home country after many years here. My favorite part of the session was when they took a break to play ring-a-round the rosie with their daughter.

Amsterdam, Just because people change and move on with life, it doesn’t mean that they love you any less.

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If you were expecting to read about my line up of couple’s Valentine’s day shoots, suave boudoir sessions, and adorable families sprinkling hearts and love on each other I am sorry to disappoint you. But don’t stop reading yet, because in all the things I have lined up for this year, this could be my most important post yet!

I will be spending Valentine’s day in the hospital with my son. There’s a possibility that I may have to spend the night and while I believe everything will be ok, that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for me to focus on shoots and editing. But I still want to “show some love”, and not in the boring romantic way.

 I want to ask the city of Amsterdam to be my Valentine. This year I want the World to be my son’s Valentine and I want to show you, how it can be your valentine too.

It started the other day when I was taking my son out of the shopping cart and both of his boots slipped off. My hands were a bit full because I was trying to return the cart to the designated area to get my coin out and it was raining. But one woman stopped. She was pregnant and had arms full of groceries. She put everything down to help me put his boots back on. She could have just kept walking like everyone else, but she took the time to do a nice thing for me and it literally made my day! I thanked her and turned to take my money out of the cart, and thought “I should remember to pass on a kind deed more often”. So I left the 50 cents (and put coins in all the other carts). Who ever got the cart probablly thought some one just forgot their coin, but who knows, maybe it helped in some small way?

I once heard, why bother doing something when you can’t “see” the difference? It makes it easier to believe that because we don’t get to see the result in another person’s life, that we didn’t make a difference. I do believe in the breath taking beauty that we call life. I love Life! It’s why I’ve dedicated my talents into capturing special moments through my photography. Life is so wonderful, but I think we can have a hand in making that beauty and showing it.

So I went out to do a few random/spontaeous acts of kindess and want to ask that you join me in Showing some Love this Valentine’s Day!

I was on my way to an appointment, but took the time to help this family with directions! Thanks to my trusty handy dandy iphone and knowlege of the area they found the location!

I love a good coffee. When I arrived the Barrista said “I remember you!” (he would with all the coffee I drink!) I passed them this note because I wanted to give away something I would enjoy recieving myself! I hadn’t expect any of my good deeds to come back to me, atleast not so soon. But before I left the barrista asked me if I had ever gotten a coffee card. (wait so all this time I’ve been drinking coffee I could be saving points for free coffee!?) I had no idea. But he helped make my day because I got a full stamped card good for my next Starbucks! And who says the coffee culture doesn’t care? I espcially love the heart drawing they included to show some love.

Stop. What ever you are doing and thinking right now stop and take a minute to watch this pep talk video from Kid President before you continue to the end of this post:

A Pep Talk from Kid President to You from Kelsey Hayes on Vimeo.

What you’ll need to help Show some Love:

  • A printer
  • Sissors
  • Tape, ribbon, or stickers
  • a camera phone, or camera
  • Pen (optional)
  • 2 ideas on how to spontaeously show some love to another person

You can print your kindness cards here:

At a loss for ideas on what to do? I always think the best thing you can do for some one else, is something you’d appreciate yourself. While handing out candy to children may seem ligit, Mama Bears might not think the same way so be thoughtful and respectful. Including the card may help spread the acts of kindness and help clarify that you are just an awesome nice person and not necessarily hitting on them. Here are a few ideas you can do (and don’t limit yourself, your whole office can do a good deed, or you can do something small for your whole office!)

  • Give away an unbrella to some one who doesn’t have one (or walk with them in the rain)
  • Give up your time to help a charity
  • Carry some one’s groceries
  • Give flowers away to a stranger
  • Remind public workers that they are appreciated (maybe with a sweet treat?)
  • give away honest nice compliments or free hugs
  • Donate to a charity that you wouldn’t normally give to
  • Use your talents or career to do something for some one else (could be playing music or mentoring)
  • Babysit a friend’s kids for free
  • Bake your neighbor something nice just because
  • Help pay for some one’s parking

Snap a photo of how you showed some love  (or if you recieved it!) and share it by adding it to the flicr group, or emailing it to me (also if you want to remain anonymous) at

Retweet using #showsomelove Reshare this post and what you are doing on facebook or other social media and most importantly have a wonderful Valentine’s Day 2013!


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After living on one of the most beautiful canals in the heart of the Jordan it looks like the Ashenfelter’s are bidding adeu to Amsterdam! It was windy and chilly but they whole family did a great job strolling around their favorite streets and bridges to take some photos to comemorate their stay here. And the setting sun was a beautiful addition to this Autumn in Amsterdam shoot! I just love all the lens flares!

I want to say Teddy was one of the cutest little babies, but in reality he was like all the cute babies I know rolled into one! He had just woken up at the start of the shoot but was smiling and “roaring” at me in know time! Such a little tiger!

Filled Under : Blog